As one of five premium titles available on Battle.net, through the Battle Net Client, Blizzard is actively releasing Heroes of the Storm to the public this morning. Featuring an objective-centered MOBA platform, Heroes of the Storm has to this point set itself apart with a respectable community and teamwork at its center.
Featuring a host of refinements across the multi-year Alpha and Beta testing stages, Heroes of the Storm is now officially open to the public as a Free-to-Play Multiplayer Online Battle Arena title. Developed by Blizzard Entertainment, this MOBA varies in a multitude of ways from the most popular brands on the scene today, allowing for not only a better community, but also dodging the issue of this-or-that when “deciding” between the titles available in the MOBA space.
As a title built in and around the multiple Blizzard universe stories, Heroes of the Storm is a melting pot of familiar characters from Diablo, World of Warcraft, Starcraft and more. These characters fill one of a few roles, not necessarily built to force a “composition” or “meta-game” of player choices in order to compete at the highest level, but more so to inform players ahead of time if their characters are “burst” damage, a healer or otherwise. All of this being familiar for any MOBA fan that has used a Blizzard game before, Heroes of the Storm can have you emotionally attached to the title before you even launch your first match.
In separation between League of Legends or other MOBA titles, Blizzard has been so pronounced that Riot Games has actually been borrowing ideas and implementing them before Blizzard can plant a firm foot in the genre. Take rewards for example – In Heroes of the Storm users will have the ability to unlock all characters through the use of Gold. This is familiar and universal, but Blizzard has taken this a step further by rewarding users with unique skins for the characters at no cost, as well as character Chroma [color] options simply for playing with their favorite characters. Each character in Heroes of the Storm has a leveling system similar to the primary level for your account, allowing multiple benefits like character colors, player portraits and a Mastery Skin. League of Legends is rushing to catch up, recently testing out of Beta with Character Levels [based on performance among your peers] and introducing Chroma options for characters – something the community has shown to be quite simple.
Further separating Heroes of the Storm from its counterparts are core mechanics. As mentioned, a “Meta-game” isn’t set for Heroes of the Storm, and based on the core game mechanics, there may never be. In most other MOBA titles players compete for Gold in any match by destroying objectives, killing minions and assaulting players. This Gold will be used to purchase items which can augment players and solidify them into their “build.” Heroes of the Storm doesn’t operate on a Gold mechanic, foregoing all need for a planned “build” and allowing players to shift on the fly to cooperate with what the team needs at any given stage of your match. Heroes of the Storm separates itself from the riff-raff yet again through the use of augmented skills, rather than these items. Allowing players to build into health-focused augments to their skills, support options, or offensive abilities, among others, those who build on a “Warrior” class Hero can choose whether a damage focus is most appropriate, stunning, or simply being a wall.
With all this customization and contrast, Blizzard goes a step further, and potentially with the most important step at that, by eliminating most text chat in the game. Blizzard is making intense strides to ensure that players don’t get into the super-aggressive mindset of other MOBA titles in other more subtle ways as well – such as the inclusion of bot replacement for any users which quit out of your game. Eliminating a need for “creep score”, as well as other scoreboard modifiers Blizzard is also cleaning up local team chat gripes to help with this same problem yet again. Where we thought initially that the lack of Gold wouldn’t work, Heroes of the Storm is taking over here at PowerLeveled and we’re loving every minute of it, mostly because we’re not raging in our game any more.
With the official launch of Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard has a deep list of 36 Heroes available for release, but they are far from done. Just as with other MOBA titles, Blizzard is constantly expanding on the world of Heroes, and given the expansive Blizzard lore, we can be sure to enjoy Heroes of the Storm for years to come. Announcing the latest character at the last BlizzCon, Johanna the Crusader will make her way from Diablo III to the many battlegrounds of HOTS. Have a look at the latest character in the cinematic atop this article and head on over to the official website to get started today!